$1bn Oman medical city 'will fill healthcare gap'

Huge and growing demand for medical centres leads construction boom

Picture for illustration only.
Picture for illustration only.

A feasibility study into a planned $1bn medical city in Oman has confirmed that it will fill a gap in the healthcare market in the Middle East, the master developer has said.

Apex Medical Group, the company behind the mega project, said a consortium of Kane Healthcare Consulting Group, Ernst & Young and Atkins had completed a detailed study into the project.

It said the study "clearly indicated the great need of medical and surgical specialities based on the prevalence of emerging life style diseases in the GCC and the greater MENA region".

AMG also said the medical city, to be built on a 800,000m2 site in Salalah, would particularly fill "a huge growing gap" in the demand and supply of human organs.

The Middle East Society for Organ Transplantation (MESOT) has estimated that there is an average of 200 patients per million populations (PMP) in need for renal transplantation in MENA region.

Furthermore, 40-50 (PMP) are in need of liver means 35,000 patients requiring liver; most patients in MENA countries die while waiting for these organs.

The demand of liver transplants for patients suffering from hepatitis B and C in GCC only, is projected to be 10,069 liver transplants by 2020, while only 872 patients are expected to receive the liver transplants based on the historical data.

Dr Abdullah Al Joaib, president of AMG, said the feasibility would lay a foundation "for the ground work of building design and construction that will start soon".

The medical city will consist of a multi-specialty 530-bed tertiary care hospital, a transplant and dialysis centre of excellence, rehabilitation centre and medical and diagnostic centre.

The healthcare complex will be integrated with the support services of a healthcare resort, wellness centre, a four-star hotel, a neighbourhood mall and recreational facilities, patient and staff accommodation and education complex consisting of medical and nursing college and research and development centre.

Ashar Nazim, director and head of Islamic Financial Services at Ernst & Young in Bahrain, said: "Aside from the fact that the project will bring pioneering medical and surgical facilities to the Middle East, the most exciting and challenging aspect is the sponsor's desire to make it fully compliant with medical ethics and in accordance with the dictates of Islam by setting up a Waqf (trust) for providing free treatment and education to poor and needy families."

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